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Education Conference: Learning for the Next Generation


The Challenge Festival is presented by 1776 & Philips.

Many thanks to ECMC Group, Presenting Sponsor; Pearson, Gold Sponsor; and New Schools Venture Fund, Gold Sponsor of the Education Day during the Challenge Festival.

Join 1776 and innovators from around the world to discuss how the education industry is undergoing its biggest upheaval in history yet. What are the trends and how are startups playing a major role in creating the future?  Learn through a series of provocative keynotes and panels that include today’s most esteemed thought leaders, industry practitioners, government officials, and entrepreneurs.

9:00 – 9:15 Opening Remarks

9:15 – 9:45 am Morning Keynote: Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission

9:45 – 11:00 The Maturing Evolution of the K-12 Startup Innovator 

Edtech startups and entrepreneurs are partnering with teachers, parents, and school leaders through new innovative platforms and learning models. Yet penetrating the complex mosaic of school budgets, regulatory obstacles, teacher-endorsements and school adoption leaves many well-meaning companies and investors scratching their heads. How do entrepreneurs successfully work with schools to implement the tools that optimize student learning and teacher improvement? Case studies of success and lesson learned from the front-line of K12 innovators and practitioners.

Panelists include:

Tom Davidson, CEO, Everfi

Mike Evans, SVP-GM, K-12 Innovation, Pearson

Mieka Wick, Executive Director, CityBridge

Moderator: Mary Jo Madda, Associate Editor, EdSurge

11:00 – 12:00 pm Panel: The Rise of the Mobile, Modern Trade School 

Will “Renaissance (wo)men” be stuck in the Renaissance?

From TED talks and YouTubeEdu, to General Assembly and engineering bootcamps, learners of all ages are accessing life-skills knowledge in the palm of their hand. As we focus on competency based learning and new platforms for career success, is the traditional liberal arts education a pursuit of the past? Are we sacrificing the critical thinking skills of a holistic education for the sake of filling skill gaps? Or does the new consumer learning movement offer a more comprehensive canvas for a different Renaissance generation?

Panelists include:

Jaime Casap, Chief Education Evangelist, Google

Jake Schwartz, CEO and cofounder, General Assembly

Mike Mariner, CEO and founder, RoadTrip Nation

Kathleen DeLaski, CEO, Education Design Lab

Moderator: Goldie Blumenstyk, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Author, American Higher Education in Crisis? What Everyone Needs to Know

12:00 – 12:15 Special Announcement by Richard Culatta, Department of Education

12:15 – 1:15 Lunch

1:15 – 2:30 Panel: Is The American University Broken or Better Than Ever? 

Innovation and Survival in the Post-Secondary Revolution

Headlines of rising college costs, student loan debt, college closures, and troubling U.S. graduation rates are forcing institutions and students to explore new models and “non-traditional” educational pathways.  As a result, the 21st Century university is embracing a dynamic moment in reinvention, and experimentation in new innovative models, enhanced competition, and global partnerships to address evolving faculty, consumer and student needs. 

Panelists include:

Chip Paucek, CEO and Cofounder, 2U

Phil Bronner, CEO, American Honors

Abigail Seldin, Vice President of Innovation & Product Management, ECMC Group

Dr. Ángel Cabrera, President, George Mason University

Moderator: Jeff Selingo, Author, College (Un)Bound, MoocU

2:30 – 3:00 Afternoon Keynote: Stacey Childress, CEO, NewSchools Venture Fund

Register below or buy your Challenge Festival-wide badge to attend more than just this thought provoking event.

Dress code: Startup friendly

Location: Lansburgh Theatre – 450 7th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20005
Cross Streets: E Street NW & 7th Street NW

Parking: Garage Entrance on 8th Street between D and E Streets NW, Cost: $12/day
Metro: Gallery Place/Chinatown (Red Line) at 7th and G Streets, 2 blocks from the Theatre.

There will be bus transportation from the Lansburgh Theater to the Education Gala.

On Monday, May 11th, Challenge Festival’s Education day will also feature the Challenge Cup Education Semifinals followed by the Education Gala.


  • Jessica Rosenworcel , Commissioner , Federal Communications Commission

    Jessica Rosenworcel was nominated for a seat on the Federal Communications Commission by President Barack Obama and on May 7, 2012 was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate. She was sworn into office on May 11, 2012. Commissioner Rosenworcel…

  • Stacey Childress , Chief Executive Officer , NewSchools Venture Fund

    Stacey Childress is the CEO at NewSchools Venture Fund. Prior to joining NewSchools, Childress led the K-12 Next Generation Learning team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, investing in schools and technologies that support personalized learning for middle and…

  • Thomas Davidson , Founder and CEO , EverFi, Inc.

    Tom Davidson is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of EverFi, an education technology company founded in 2008 to tackle some of the largest challenges facing our nation. EverFi builds powerful learning platforms to teach, assess and certify users in…

  • Mike Evans , CEO / General Manager / Senior Executive , Pearson

    Mike Evans is Senior Vice President, PreK-12 Literacy and Mathematics for Pearson. Mike’s focus is creating instructional solutions that personalize learning to meet the individual needs of each child. Prior to his current role, Mike was President of Pearson’s student…

  • Mary Jo Madda , Associate Editor , EdSurge

    Mary Jo writes, edits, and heads up the Instruct newsletter for EdSurge. Previously, she taught middle school math/science with Teach for America (Houston corps '09), KIPP, and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Following her years teaching, she worked on the…

  • Jaime Casap , Chief Education Evangelist , Google

    Jaime Casap is the Chief Education Evangelist at Google, Inc. Jaime evangelizes the power and potential of the web, technology, and Google tools as enabling and supporting capabilities in pursuit of creating powerful learning models. In eight years at Google,…

  • Jake Schwartz , Cofounder , General Assembly

    Jake Schwartz and his cofounders started General Assembly in January 2011 as a community for entrepreneurs and start-up companies. Jake saw the possibility for a new business model, serving the community that they founded through education. A community where entrepreneurs can build,…

  • Mike Marriner , Cofounder , Roadtrip Nation

    Upon graduation Mike hit the road with two college friends in an old, green RV to interview leaders across America and learn how they got to where they are today. That roadtrip was featured in Forbes Magazine and later turned…

  • Goldie Blumenstyk , Senior Writer, Chronicle of Higher Education, and author

    Goldie Blumenstyk is one of the nation’s most respected higher-education journalists. As a reporter at The Chronicle of Higher Education since 1988, she  has covered a wide range of topics, including distance education, the Internet boom, bust, and boom, state…

  • Chip Paucek , Cofounder and CEO , 2U

    Chip Paucek is 2U's co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. After graduating from The George Washington University with a bachelor's degree in political communication, Paucek founded Cerebellum Corporation, the company behind the award-winning educational Standard Deviants television program. Standard Deviants was…

  • Phil Bronner , CEO & Co-Founder , Quad Learning, American honors

    Phil’s career reflects his lifelong passion for education and its ability to transform students’ lives. Prior to leading American Honors, he was a General Partner for Novak Biddle Venture Partners, a venture capital firm with a focus on investments in…

  • Richard Culatta , Director of the Office of Educational Technology , US Department of Education

    Richard Culatta is a leader in the field of educational innovation with experience in K-12, higher education, and workplace learning. As the Director of the Office of Educational Technology for the US Department of Education his work focuses on creating…

  • Jeffrey Selingo , Author, "College Unbound"

    Jeff Selingo is a best-selling author and award-winning columnist who helps parents and higher-education leaders imagine the college and university of the future: how families will pay, what campuses will look like, how students will learn, and what experiences will lead…

  • Ángel Cabrera , President , George Mason University

    Dr. Ángel Cabrera is the sixth president of George Mason University (July 2012).  Prior to Mason, Cabrera served as the 11th president of Thunderbird School of Global Management (2004-2012), and was designated President Emeritus (April 2012). He served as professor…

  • Mieka Wick , Executive Director , CityBridge Foundation

    Mieka Wick leads CityBridge Foundation's efforts to create a system of high-performing public schools serving all children in Washington, D.C.  Since joining CityBridge in 2007, Mrs. Wick has guided the foundation's investments in key areas in the D.C. education space,…

  • Abigail Seldin , Founder of College Abacus, Vice President of Innovation & Product Management , ECMC Group

    Abigail Seldin is Vice President of Innovation & Product Management  at ECMC Group, a nonprofit corporation with a mission to help students succeed that oversees the country’s largest nonprofit career school system, Zenith Education Group. Seldin currently directs ECMC Group’s growing Washington, D.C.-based…